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Sunday, October 10, 2010

'Backstage Pass' Sinners on Tour #1 by Olivia CUNNING

From the BLURB:

Human Sexuality Professor, Myrna Evans, wants nothing but a weekend of hot, no-strings-attached sex with Sinners' sensual lead guitarist, but Brian Sinclair is looking for something more permanent than a one-night stand. Unable to compose music for months, when Brian makes love to uninhibited Myrna, he hears exquisite guitar riffs and finger-burning solos. In Myrna, he's found his muse.

Myrna Evans is in town for a conference with a bunch of stuffed-shirt professors. You’d think being a Human Sexuality professor would mean Myrna has a slightly more exciting life. . . but as it is; her research grant has fallen through, her crazy ex-husband is getting out of jail and the closest sexual relations she’s had required batteries.

But life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans, as Myrna soon discovers. Staying at her conference’s hotel is one of the country’s hottest bad-boy rock bands, the Sinners. And it just so happens that Myrna has a serious crush on brooding lead guitarist, Brian Sinclair.

Brian is on the rebound from yet another failed romance. Labelled by his band as a ‘romance retard’ the last thing he needs is a one night stand. . . until he meets sexy Professor Myrna. Things heat up fast between these two, and pretty soon Myrna is on the road with the band and even structuring a research grant around their groupie fanatics. And Brian is writing sweet, sweet music that comes to him when he’s with Myrna, his latest muse.

‘Backstage Pass’ is the first book in Olivia Cunning’s romance erotica series, ‘Sinners on Tour’. . . and I loved it!

First-up, this book is H-O-T. ‘Backstage Pass’ may be Ms. Cunning’s debut, but she is clearly an erotica aficionado. The sex scenes are smutty and sensual, and there are a LOT of them. But Cunning does something particularly wonderful with the sex scenes (dare I say, something ‘cunning?’ Ha!) By integrating them into the story. A lot is made of the fact that Brian is a hopeless romantic who had his heart broken many times because he falls hard and fast for the wrong women. I may have been sceptical of Brian’s romantic obsessions when they turn to Myrna, if it wasn’t for Cunning’s plethora of smokin’ hot sex scenes between the two. I completely believed Brian’s infatuation after he and Myrna have a number of exciting and explicit encounters that send them into the sexy stratosphere.

But more than the hot sex, I believed the fast-pace of Brian and Myrna’s romance because it was tempered with sweetness. These two just work – they have rapid-fire exchanges of quips and wits that revealed a fun and emotional maturity to their romance.
“Lips is a very good L-word,” he murmured.
“Yeah, so is lust.” She pulled his shirt off over his head and flicked her tongue over his nipple. “And lick.”
“I’m particularly fond of let’s go.” He took her hand and tugged her toward the bedroom.
She laughed, following him. “That’s two words.”
I love the entire concept of ‘Sinners on Tour’. This isn’t my first erotica rodeo; I've read quite a few books now, everything from vampires to cowboys, brotherly ménage and space-opera erotica. But I have never read an erotica series based around a rock n’ roll band. . . and how weird that that’s an untapped theme. Because, c’mon – it’s rock n’ roll! It’s all about the women, the fans and the rock-hard rock-stars. And that’s exactly what Olivia Cunning has tapped into with this series.

There are five members of ‘Sinners’ and by the end of ‘Backstage Pass’ I felt like I knew all of them. Lead singer Sedric ‘Sed’ Lionheart is a womanizing lothario, still stinging from a long-ago romance. Jace Seymour is a bass guitarist with a kinky side. Eric Sticks is the band’s voyeuristic drummer, and Trey Mills is rhythm guitar, background vocals and interested in both sexes. Each man comes with his own baggage that is slowly revealed over the course of the book. And each band member will be getting their own instalment in the ‘Sinners on Tour’ series.

One thing that didn’t work for me was the side story about Myrna’s ex-husband. A lot is made of the fact that Myrna is closed-off emotionally because she had a bad experience with her jealous and violent ex. She is so scared of relationships that she even takes pause at a long-term romance with her long-term crush, Brian Sinclair. It felt like the build-up to a confrontation with Myrna’s ex was made melodramatic, but the big moment was a let-down. Myrna’s ex husband was less scary, more pathetic and the entire confrontation scene just fizzled for me.

And it’s strange because it felt like there was plenty of opportunity for Myrna to be reluctant to start something with Brian. I mean, he’s a rock-star. . . and Myrna sees first-hand evidence of the crazy rock-star lifestyle. The desperate women who offer no-strings attached sex, for instance. I didn’t need a crazy ex-husband side-story to plausibly cause conflict between Myrna and Brian;
He touched her cheek gently. “Then don’t be a rock star’s girlfriend. Be Brian Sinclair’s girlfriend.”
“They’re one and the same. Your life is so interesting and mine is so ordinary. Boring. I’m an over-educated farm girl from the Midwest.”
I loved this book, and I adore the concept for this new romantic erotica series. I can’t believe this is the first erotica book I've read about rock-stars, but I love that Olivia Cunning tapped into this theme! Brian and Myrna sizzle on the page, the other band members are sexy conundrums and I can’t wait to go on tour with these Sinners!

Big thanks to Patti from ‘book addict’ for recommending this read.



  1. Yay - I'm so glad you liked it! I couldn't put it down, LOL. I'm looking forward to the next installment (I can't believe I have to wait until 2012 for Eric's story).

  2. @ Patti - I *LOVED* it! I can't believe I have to wait until 2012 for Trey's story! Drats!

  3. wow, this sounds awesome! Im shocked I hadn't seen an erotica series with rockstars b4 as well LOL

    Great review hon =D

  4. Thanks for the great review! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    If you'd like to know why Jeremy ended up being a pansy instead of the psychopath I intended him to be, read this interview posted today:

    It's in the part about the hardest scene to write.

    If you don't care. That's okay, too! :-) Just thought you might want to know.

    Again, thanks!

    Oh and if you want MORE Sinners, I have a cute Halloween short story posted on the Casablanca Author's blog today. It's called Sinners Trick, Sinners Treat. It involves Trey as vampire, Jace in ass-less chaps and Sed in a loin cloth.


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